13 standardised state-of-the-art ship designs that are suitable for large barge haulage on river Ganga (National Waterway- 1) were made public by Inland Waterway Authority of India (IWAI). The introduction of IndiaÂ’s first standarised modern ship design will help overcome the unique navigation challenges the river throws due to its complex river morphology, hydraulics, acute bends, shifting channels, meanders and current. Not only this will mark a milestone in the growth of the countryÂ’s Inland Water Transport (IWT) sector but it will also serve as an enabler for domestic shipbuilding industry working on island vessels and open a huge possibility for cargo and passenger movement on the National Waterway-1.
For capacity augmentation of navigation on NW-1 (Varanasi- Haldia stretch), the government is implementing Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) at a cost of Rs 53.6 billion with the technical assistance and investment support of the World Bank. For the shipbuilding industry, the new designs will translate into a savings of Rs 3-5 million in the building of a vessel.
M/s DST Germany, which specialises in low draft and high carrying capacity vessels will make various categories of dry and liquid bulk carriers, Ro- Ro vessels, car carrier, container carrier, LNG carrier and Tug Barge flotilla for the new designs. With about 350 cars on five deck car carrier, these vessels can sail even in depths of about 2 m. Some of the designs would enable movement of bulk cargo carriers with a capacity of 2500 tonne at 3 m depth, thereby, removing almost 150 truckloads of pressure from the road or one full rail rake with the plying of just one such vessel.